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Choosing Hand Dryers for schools

Here are 4 considerations for choosing a suitable hand dryer for a school


1. Budget

Like most establishments, a school must consider its budget, how much is the dryer, what are its running costs and how much can actually be spent ‘up front’ on the dryer; It may be the case that to spread the cost the school could consider renting the hand dryer so it does not have to make an upfront capital expenditure, although this will make the total spend over the term of the contract greater than the cost of the hand dryer.
The price you pay for the hand dryers will differ greatly depending on the brand, model, speed and other attributes. In most cases, you get what you pay for, although the running cost can vary greatly depending on the energy use and drying time. The lower end budget dryers tend to be plastic covers with longer drying times and shorter warranties, although there are some pretty decent low-mid price range hand dryers.


2. Usage

If a bathroom is going to have a high usage, for example in a large school, it is vital that your choice of hand dryer is designed to cope with a large volume of people in a short period of time. Low usage hand dryers will have their life shortened by excessive use, especially when this is likely to be concentrated during, for example, lunch and break times. In a high footfall school or college washroom, the hand dryer should be chosen based on its drying time. You do not want queues of people waiting of the hand dryer at busy times.


3. Drying Time

To enable the quick movement of students through the washrooms, a fast hand dryer with a short drying time may be essential. For example, in the children’s toilets in a school you may not want children spending more time than they need to because they are waiting to dry their hands. There is of course an offset to be aware of. The faster the hand dryer, it inevitably follows that the dryer will be noisy. This may not be desirable especially in primary schools or in schools with children who have autism or other learning difficulties or sensitivities, or indeed if the hand dryer is located next to offices or study rooms. For example, in a low use staff toilet which is not going to have the same level of traffic, a low noise, low use and quiet hand dryer may be more suitable.


4. Vandalism

It may be the case in some schools that vandalism is a factor. In these cases, a robust hand dryer with minimal access to components in a solid vandal resistant cover is required. Remember, nothing is vandal proof. It may not be wise to choose a hand dryer with removal parts (eg water reservoirs) or exposed switches or switch covers. It may also be desirable to choose a hand dryer which has an all-metal construction so it will be less easily damaged by sharp implements or flame. A stainless-steel dryer or solid metal construction with chromed finish are good choices in this respect.

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